In the last post where I blathered on about my food and exercise, I think I kind of made it seem like the skies opened and everything is calm, cool and happy and I am just going about my life. Truth be told, things aren’t as hunky dory as they seem.
Man, am I a wreck. As I mentioned in that last post, I’ve been dealing with all sorts of bodily dysfunction due to overrestriction and overachieving with my training. You may or may not have heard stories about people that dive into extreme restrictive behavior for the sake of competing for something, crash out post-contest and blow their metabolism out of the water and cant do fuckall for, like, the next year? Yeah thats me right now. Over the last few months, I’ve said “fuck it” with strict eating principles and that has helped with some of the issues I was dealing with, but I still have a bit of a road ahead of me. And this road has been rather hellish.
This is what is currently going on with me, and honestly, its been going on for a while.
Incessant Brain Fog and Cognitive Dysfunction. You know when you just wake up and you’re kind of in that foggy, dreamlike state for a bit? I never leave that. It is with me 24/7. Included with this is the inability to comprehend a lot of things that I would be able to normally, and I have to really, really focus to be able to conduct an intelligent conversation. I have to ask folks at work to back up and explain things more thoroughly, which is rather embarrassing, because I feel stupid. My short term memory is completely shot and I have to write everything down, otherwise I’ll forget. It took me half an hour to assemble this paragraph. It is embarrassing and frustrating. I am sure this whole post makes me sound absolutely stupid.
Anxiety and Stress. Because of the huge stresses I’ve put on my bod over the years, my body is now in this heightened state of alarm and EVERYTHING IS OVERWHELMING. Mind you, it has decreased SIGNIFICANTLY over the past few months since I’ve been tackling this whole whole thing head on, but I’m not out of the woods yet. There was a point where finding the mental fortitude to get off the couch to get ready for work would put me in tears. Busy days where there’s a lot of shit to be done absolutely kill me. How many of you have seen me in a public social situation in the past year or so? This is why.
Weight Gain Like Whoa. I am at the absolute worst I’ve ever been in 10 years. This also feeds into the anxiety and stress.
Sleep Disturbances. This is probably the most hellish. I have not been able to get a solid night’s sleep in a long time and right now I’m lucky to get about 5 hours of sleep a night. About 2-4 am, I wake up and cannot get back to sleep. Much like this morning. I would write all about cortisol and why this is happening to me, but right now I lack the mental capacity to do so. You can google it if you so choose.
Add these things to the trials of every day life, and to say things have been difficult is an understatement. I am currently getting support with all this shit, and guidance from some very smart and knowledgeable friends. What also sucks is that there’s no real time period for recovery – it could be a couple of months, it could be over a year. I dont really know.
Things I have been doing:
Eating. Making sure I get my food in. Another side effect of all this shit is that I am just not hungry, which can lead to me undereating and prolonging this hell.
Stopping the Lifting. This has been the hardest thing for me. But at this point, any exercise that my body perceives as strenuous puts me back at square one and I just perpetuate the cycle. Because of the state my body is in, the threshold of what is perceived as ‘strenuous’ is really, really low. Biking also has the same effect. I have been able to take walks and that’s about it. I had so many fun plans for the summer that I’ve had to scrap in the name of regaining my health, and it’s depressing.
Mental Readjustment. This has been incredibly mind altering and I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching. Dealing with this shit is hard. I havent been blogging, or interacting on Facebook, or being social because of this, and those things are probably something I need to do to help improve my mental state. But I cant because I’m too overwhelmed with everything else.
My Silver Linings:
Shit isn’t as horrible today was it was a month ago. My energy levels are slowly but surely improving. Some days are really good, on other days I feel like I’ve been set back a thousand steps. But I’m getting there.
Dennis has been loving, supportive, and understanding, even when everything doesn’t make any sense at all. He helped me off the couch in the days when I couldn’t do it myself. He’s endured my crying jags, my snapping when things get to be too much, taking over when I can’t, and a whole lot of other stuff.
This, too, shall pass. This was a phrase my Granny always said, and always sticks with me. Every time the song by OK Go comes up I think that if she were alive today, she’d totally rock out to it. Some days I do feel like where I am right now is how I am going to be for the rest of my life, and that freaks me out. This is pretty hellish.
I am still a badass. Its just the degree of badassery I can exhibit right now has to be scaled back significantly. All I want to do is go back to when I was enjoying life, taking advantage of the outdoors, and kicking back with a cheeseburger and beer with no ill effects. Such a simple request, and yet, so infinitely hard for me to do right now.
Hunker down, kids, we’re in for some rough seas.